The Oklahoma City Thunder disappointingly fell to the Miami Heat yesterday in a Christmas Day NBA Finals rematch 103-97.
The game closely resembled what happened to the Thunder in the Finals a few months ago.
They seemed to be less under control than usual, hurrying everything while the Heat calmly took care of business.
The Thunder shot only 42.3 percent from the field while the Heat shot 47.5 percent. The Thunder had more turnover than assists too.
LeBron James had a typical game by his standards with 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Mario Chalmers was the big X-factor scoring 20 points and making four threes.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 39 minutes, 33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists – B+
Durant got in foul trouble in the first half and only scored eight points. He turned it on in the second half going for 25 but it wasn’t enough. Not enough of his points came in the flow of the offense but he was still very efficient. The Thunder simply seemed to revert back to their old, bad habits in this one.
Russell Westbrook – 43 minutes, 21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists – B
Westbrook played a ton of minutes because the Thunder couldn’t afford to not have him on the floor. Eric Maynor didn’t even play in the game at all as Reggie Jackson got minutes instead. Westbrook went 5-for-19 from the field and had five turnovers compared to only three assists but he did have six offensive rebounds. Overall, you’d want more control from Westbrook against the Heat and he has still yet to show that in this matchup.
Serge Ibaka – 37 minutes, 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block – C+
The Thunder needed someone else to step up yesterday and Ibaka almost did but not quite. He shot well from the field but grabbed just four defensive boards in 37 minutes and blocked just one shot. He was lost on defense a few times dealing with the small Heat lineups and a few points here and there because of that basically cost the Thunder the game.
Kevin Martin – 35 minutes, 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – B-
Martin basically gave the Thunder what James Harden did last year in the Finals except with less touches. That would be an upgrade if the rest of the Thunder players stepped up but that didn’t exactly happen. Martin is also a big liability on defense who is always a little late on rotations which you simply cannot do against the Heat and LeBron.
Kendrick Perkins – 26 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals – D-
Perkins was simply terrible. The Thunder are at such a disadvantage when he is in against the Heat. It’s not the only matchup like this but definitely the most dramatic. He shoots 1-of-5 from the field and turns the ball over four times which is just so hard to overcome when he is giving you nothing else either. If he never played against the Heat, the Thunder would have been the defending champs yesterday and won the game.
Thabo Sefolosha – 28 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists – C-
You definitely want Sefolosha to score at least a little yesterday but credit the Heat for not giving him any good looks. It was the first game for the Thunder in five days and they looked a little rusty. Once they got behind early, they abandoned what they have been doing all year and that meant less open spot-up shots for role players. Sefolosha is a very valuable commodity in this series too as he is one of the few players they can put on LeBron.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists – B+
No surprise that the Thunder outscored the Heat by four with Collison in. The fact that Perkins plays more minutes than he does in this series is insane. He wasn’t perfect or anything while he was out there but he is a huge upgrade over Perkins of course.
Reggie Jackson – 13 minutes, 3 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound – C+
So all of a sudden Jackson is playing over Maynor. Maybe yesterday this was because Jackson is considered a better defender but he wasn’t great on that end either yesterday. The Thunder really could have benefitted from a good game from Maynor more which is just another questionable rotation decision by Brooks.